United Kingdom

Met Office issues new warning for Sunday as -10C big freeze grips Britain

A -10C big freeze is set to grip the country with Britons bracing for a six-inch blanket of snow - as parts of England bask in a layer of the white stuff that fell overnight. 

Storm Christoph - which battered the country with a month's worth of rain in less than 48 hours this week - will be replaced by snow and ice as the Met Office issues a yellow warning for Scotland.

Regions affected by the worst of the incoming weather should be prepared for travel disruption and drivers are urged to take care on icy roads. 

London and swathes of the South East are set to see temperatures as low as -2C as cold air coming in from the arctic brings 'a mix of wintry hazards across the UK'.

Some areas - including Warwickshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire - have already seen dustings, as Britons take to the outdoors to enjoy a crisp Saturday morning out.

On Sunday, rain clouds will make their way over the west of the Britain, before turning to snow as they head east. 

Just over an inch of snow is expected to settle in most affected regions - but areas 100m above sea level could get more than three times that.

The Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and Snowdonia will be the worst affected, forecasters say, with up to 5.9 inches settling.

The yellow weather warning over Scotland will be in place until 11am tomorrow. 

Earlier this morning, a town's flood defences were breached after Storm Christoph brought a month's worth of rain in less than 48 hours - leaving Britons still reeling from the devastating deluge. 

Pictures captured by a local at Beales Corner in Bewdley, Worcestershire, shows water from the Severn pouring through the barriers during the early hours of this morning.

Hereford and Worcester water rescue teams were also seen saving a man and his two dogs, Poppy and Eddie, from the flood water in Bewdley. The river level is expected to peak at 5.53m, just shy of the record set in November 2000 at 5.56m. 

Residents in the small North Warwickshire village of New Arley woke up to a cold and snowy day this morning as the rain turned into snow overnight

People pictured riding on bicycles through Wimbledon Common, which was covered in heavy frost today on a cold freezing morning with sub-zero temperatures 

The M6 in Lancaster is down to one lane due to snow. Weather warnings for floods, snow and ice have been put in place across Britain due to the conditions

Storm Christoph - which battered the country with a month's worth of rain in less than 48 hours - will be replaced by snow and ice as the Met Office issues a yellow warning for Scotland (pictured) 

Met Office chief forecaster Steve Willington told The Sun: 'In clearer conditions, overnight ice will remain a hazard, while a band of snow is likely to bring falls of 1-3cm quite widely across central areas of the UK, particularly the Cotswolds and higher ground in the East Midlands on Sunday.

'But snow outside these areas is also a potential hazard.'   

Forecasters said cold conditions should remain until Tuesday, when milder, wetter weather is set to return. That could 'compound' the existing flooding issues with melting snow adding to the water levels. 

Dramatic aerial pictures today revealed the shocking extent of flooding in Bewdley after flood barriers were breached overnight leaving homes and businesses under water.

Floodwater started gushing over the barriers in the Worcestershire town 'like a tidal wave' as the River Severn rose to near-record levels. The temporary defences were installed earlier this week in a bid to protect homes and business in the aftermath of Storm Christoph.

But the full impact of the swelling river arrived early this morning as barriers on Beales Corner were breached and water spilled into nearby properties. River levels are now expected to be similar to those of the February 2020 floods, which were the worst to hit the area in 20 years.

A lone walker takes a stroll in the snow in Muston, Leicestershire, this morning. A -10C big freeze is set to grip the country as Britons brace for a six-inch blanket of snow - as parts of the country have already been hit with buckets of the white stuff on Saturday morning

Cyclists in the snow pass through the 'Seven Arched Bridge' in the Rivington Terraced Gardens this morning

Snow falls in Smithills, Bolton, Lancashire, this morning. Come the new week the snow will once again give way to more rain, with Environment Secretary George Eustice saying it gives cause for concern at the potential for further flooding

A runner is pictured in the snow in Smithills, Bolton, Lancashire, this morning. Chris Tubbs, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said wet weather is likely to return from the middle of next week

A family enjoy an early morning walk on the snow covered grounds of Little Orme, in north Wales, this morning

The M6 in Lancaster was nearly empty as snow and ice risked treacherous driving conditions. A yellow weather warning is in place over Scotland

The Met Office said the UK is set to be hit by more wintry weather as Storm Christoph moves away to the East, with a yellow weather warning for ice and snow already in place across most of Britain

The river was expected to peak at 5.5 metres (18ft) in Bewdley with the water level expected to stay high for several days. Flood warnings remain in place along the length of the River Severn including at Bewdley, Blackstone and Stourport.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, of Worcestershire County Council, said: 'We recognise the impact that Storm Christoph and the subsequent flooding has had, and will continue to have, on residents, businesses and local communities across the county.

'The recent rainfall that we've seen, has led to some areas of the county being flooded in a matter of weeks.

'I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our front-line staff and the emergency services teams who are working tirelessly to keep the residents of Worcestershire as safe as possible.

'This has been made even more difficult given the challenging and rapidly developing situation in addition to dealing with an emergency during a pandemic and in national lockdown.'

Footage captured the dramatic moment that flood defences failed at Bewdley, Worcestershire, during the early hours of this morning. The clip was captured on camera by a local resident

Hereford and Worcester water rescue teams save a man and his two dogs, Poppy and Eddie, from the flood water at Bewdley as the Severn breached floor barriers this morning. Another dog, Malcom, peered over a flood barrier at his home on Beales Corner with the water lapping below

Aerial view of flooding along the river Severn at Bewdley where despite the efforts by the environment agency, one side of the flood defences have been overtopped as storm Christoph continues to wreak havoc

Flooding in Stourport-on-Severn as storm Christoph continues to wreak havoc this weekend, before more rain next week

Flooding at Treasure Island fun fair in Stourport-on-Severn as storm Christoph continued to wreak havoc on Saturday

Residents in some areas along the River Severn were earlier advised there could be flooding into today, with some levels peaking at heights similar to the February washout last year. Pictured, flooding at Bewdley

As flood defences were topped at the River Severn teams attempted to bring the situation under control

In Worcester, at-risk householders are being contacted by the city council and offered rest-centre accommodation. Pictured, the River Severn at Bewdley

Houses were flooded as the River Severn burst its banks in the aftermath of heavy rainfall over the last week

A bridge shows the extent of the rising water level in Bewdley after the River Severn burst its banks this morning

Police in Hyde Park this morning as walkers wrap up in coats to keep out the winter chill as temperatures plummet 

People take their daily exercise in Greenwich Park, south east London this morning as parts of the country were hit by snow

People enjoy the sunny, cold start to the day in Hyde Park, today as an intense lockdown continues in Britain

Residents in some areas along the River Severn were earlier advised there could be flooding into today, with some levels peaking at heights similar to the February washout last year.

In Worcester, at-risk householders are being contacted by the city council and offered rest-centre accommodation.

Met Office chief forecaster Steve Willington said cold air from Iceland and the Arctic will bring with it 'a mix of wintry hazards across the UK'.

He said: 'In clearer conditions, overnight ice will remain a hazard, while a band of snow is likely to bring falls of 1-3cm quite widely across central areas of the UK, particularly the Cotswolds and higher ground in the East Midlands on Sunday.

So far, around 400 homes have been flooded as the result of Storm Christoph, the Environment Agency said yesterday, with Britons in northern and central England urged to prepare for further flooding over the weekend due to 'exceptionally high' river levels. 

Come the new week the snow will once again give way to more rain, with Environment Secretary George Eustice saying it gives cause for concern at the potential for further flooding.

Walkers in the snow in the Rivington Terraced Gardens this morning, left, and a runner in the snow in Smithills in Bolton, right

People doing exercises on a Wimbledon Common that is covered in heavy frost on a cold freezing morning 

This is the M6 in Manchester. The government have put weather warnings across Britain due to frost and snow

A blanket of fog makes its way along the River Avon and under the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol this morning

Residents in the small North Warwickshire village of New Arley woke to cold and snowy day this morning as rain turned to snow overnight

The breached flood barriers at Bewdley pictured early this morning. Residents in some areas along the River Severn were earlier advised there could be flooding today, with some levels peaking at heights similar to the February washout last year

Among the victims of Storm Christoph are George and Amal Clooney. The garden of their 17th-century, Grade II-listed mansion (pictured) in Sonning, Berkshire was flooded by the burst banks of the nearby River Thames

Speaking yesterday he said: 'The thing that concerns us most is that late next week we are expecting more rainfall, that falls on wet, soggy ground.

'It is possible that we therefore could have some additional challenges in a week's time.'

Chris Tubbs, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said wet weather is likely to return from the middle of next week.

He said: 'Once the certainty increases about which areas are most likely to be affected by potentially heavy rain, we may need to issue further warnings, especially if next week's rainfall is likely to compound the impacts from this week.'

The Environment Agency has warned of 'exceptionally high river levels' following days of heavy rainfall in the wake of Storm Christoph, with hundreds of properties across the country flooded.

Care home residents were among those evacuated in several areas across the North West, while, in Wales, a helicopter crew rescued a family trapped in their home due to fast-flowing floodwater.

The outline of a 400-year-old English Civil War fort in Earith, Cambridgeshire, has been highlighted after heavy rain and flooding filled a moat around the earthworks

River levels around Ironbridge in Shropshire were expected to peak at around 6.8m overnight.

In Bewdley, Worcestershire, the peak was expected early on Saturday, at a 'slightly lower' level than February 2020, according to Dave Throup from the Environment Agency.

The snow comes after families returned nervously to their homes yesterday to discover what damage Storm Christoph had done as flooding continued to bring misery to thousands.

The clean-up began in parts of Cheshire, Wales and Yorkshire, where a month's rain fell in less than 48 hours, causing rivers to burst their banks this week.

But while some were mopping up, others in Shropshire and Herefordshire were waking up to newly flooded streets and homes as the Severn and Wye overflowed.

Water levels rose there a day or so after the North as the effects of the heavy rainfall worked its way further downstream.

Residents, some of whom were evacuated, told of their despair that they had not long finished repairs following Storm Dennis last February.

A shop owner begins to clean up as floodwater begins to recede from the town of Northwich, Cheshire, in the aftermath of Storm Christoph yesterday

Dave Throup, Environment Agency manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, tweeted: 'Sadly our flood defence at Beales Corner were compromised overnight. We're responding on site with partners. Other defences at Bewdley all ok.'

Irene Buxton, 70, who lives close to the defences told the BBC she was woken by a 'crash' as the barriers collapsed last night. She said: 'I looked out of the window and it was like a tidal wave going towards the town. The water is in my hall and in my kitchen and we're just battling to keep it out of the living room.'

The Severn had been rising steeply since Storm Christoph brought heavy rain at the start of the week and started spilling over its banks from Wednesday.

In Worcester, at-risk householders are being contacted by the city council and offered rest-centre accommodation. This weekend the wet conditions will be replaced by freezing temperatures, prompting a yellow weather warning for snow and ice across the Midlands and much of the UK.

The Environment Agency said 139 flood warnings remained in place across England yesterday, including a severe warning on the Dee between the town of Holt, North Wales, and the Cheshire village of Farndon. Aerial pictures taken on the Welsh side showed the scale of the flooding.

In Northwich, Cheshire, hair salon owner Charles Rose mopped the flooded floor of his hairdressers, which he only recently opened with his partner.

Around 20 miles away in Warrington, Catherine Myall, 39, said not enough was being done to protect homes.

'Everything's been destroyed – the couches, fridge freezer, washing machine, children's toys,' she said.

'The lack of action frustrates me, it really does. You may as well talk to a brick wall. Every time it rains, flooding is a worry.

'We've only just had re-plastering and electrical work done from the last time we were flooded, last year.'

Elsewhere in the town, Peter Morley mopped the downstairs of his house after it was flooded on Thursday and Woody Woodfine cleared out the wrecked ground floor of his semi-detached home.

'We've been here eight years and the house has been flooded five times,' Mr Woodfine, 55, said.

'The authorities have allegedly invested £260,000 in a brand new pumping station,' he added, but it was not due to be operational until April. 

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